Spinal cord injury more likely after the elderly fall

Friday March 14, 2014

The spinal cord is an incredible marvel that allows the human race to carry out its day-to-day activities. However, an injury to the spinal cord can cause severe adverse impacts and may result in disability. Unfortunately, people of any age can sustain spinal cord injury (“SCI”) because of accidents caused by the negligence of others.

The elderly in New Haven, Connecticut, should be concerned about SCI. A study from Johns Hopkins University that was recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma found that falls are now the leading cause of spinal injury among older adults in the United States, surpassing even car accidents.

The researchers analyzed data collected between 2007 and 2009 from more than 40,000 adults who received emergency room treatment for SCI. During the course of the study, the researchers found that spinal cord injuries for patients aged 65 and older increased from 79 people per million to 88 people per million or 11 percent; SCI from falls increased from 23.6 percent to 30 percent in that same time span.

They also found that falls can be traumatic and cause anxiety for individuals in this age category, and as a result, their physicians increasingly prescribe anxiety medications for them. Unfortunately, such medications can themselves cause a higher risk of falls and dementia.

Accidents that result in SCI can happen anytime and anywhere. Motor vehicle accidents, and slip and fall accidents occur because of the negligence of someone else. Whatever the cause, dealing with SCI is challenging.

Suffering from a spinal cord injury is not only emotionally devastating, it is very costly as well. Those suffering from SCI need a significant amount of money to cover long-term medical care as well as other costs.

If a victim’s spinal cord injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, the careless party is liable for compensation. The victim should understand their legal options for obtaining the monetary compensation that they deserve.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Falls, Injuries and Anxiety: Breaking a Vicious Cycle,” Hilary Young, Mar. 3, 2014

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